I’m delighted to welcome Kindle Press author Chris Patchell this week.
Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. A tech worker by day and a writer by night, Chris Patchell pens gritty suspense novels set in the Pacific Northwest. Her works have been praised by Kevin O’Brien and Robert Dugoni, and her rich complex plot lines and well-drawn characters will keep you turning pages well into the night. When she’s not shipping software or writing books, Chris is hanging out with her husband, kids, and two crazy dogs.
In the Dark, at its heart, is a story about a mother’s love.
When Marissa learns that Brooke, her college-aged daughter, never showed up for her Monday classes, the circumstances go beyond her worst nightmares. It features a cast of characters that are all broken in interesting ways, including Seattle Police Detective Seth Crawford, and powerful lawyer, Elizabeth Holt who all play a crucial role in unravelling the story behind Brooke’s disappearance.
Tell us three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? How about the hero’s?
Under Marissa’s bed you would find a few dusty Harlequin romances, a half-empty pack of cigarettes, and a couple of self-help books. Under Seth’s bed you would find nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even a couple of well-fed dust bunnies.
What is the theme of this book? Is it part of a series?
Overcoming heartbreak and loss. As I mentioned above, all of the characters have a boatload of baggage that they carry around every day. A three-time divorcee with a GED, Marissa never feels like she measures up. After the tragic loss of his wife, Seth Crawford has buried himself in work to mask his empty life. In order to survive, they both need to dig deep to find the courage to keep going.
I’m editing the second in the series now. It’s going some pretty fun and creepy places.
Why do you write suspense? Do you write any other genres?
HA! I’m sure a therapist could tell you why I write the kind of stuff I do, but for me, I love exploring the darker side of human nature. I’m fascinated by the questions of why people do the things that they do. I also love writing complex plotlines that weave around each other and combine for a big bang ending.
As for other genres, I used to write romance back in my twenties, but since I started writing again, I’m really enjoying suspense.
What inspired In the Dark?
Oddly enough, the two ideas that inspired this story never made it into the final book. The first idea was spawned at a writing conference. The instructor had us do a writing assignment that detailed your bad guy’s first kill. The words spilled onto the page. You could have heard a pin drop when I read it. That’s always a good sign. The second was a notification I got from Facebook about friends of mine “checking in” at a particular spot. I started thinking how a stalker might use this information to track a college girl’s movements—because online, it’s easier for people to lurk in the cyber shadows.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard? Any tips to share?
Trust your instincts. You’re the only one who can write your story your way. Do listen to feedback (feedback is a critical part of the writing process), but don’t let it lead you off in a direction that doesn’t feel right to you.
At the end of the day, it’s your story.
A big thanks to Chris for stopping by this week. Catch up with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and her Amazon page. Be sure to check out her website for even more news and updates.